My husband has a very green thumb – he took agriculture and horticulture in university and has always had a passion for growing things. And although his career led him in a different direction, he still loves spending his free time digging and planting in our yard. I would characterize his style as “bountiful and wild” – our garden isn’t particularly neat and orderly but more often spilling over with greenery and flowers.
His considerable gardening talents mean that we always have a wide variety of plants growing at our house (bright orange lilies right beside blossoming lavender and echinacea plants), he loves a challenge (there was that guava tree on the deck of our place in Toronto) and he absolutely refuses to throw away house plants (yes he has a poinsettia flowering in the window of his office year round).
And speaking of a challenge- our backyard is mostly filled up with a big old pool, which leaves little room for a traditional garden. But he still manages to find the space to grow an impressive bounty of fruits and veggies. This years fare – strawberries, raspberries, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, lettuce and basil. Yum!
This salad came together quickly and easily with things I had on hand – fresh produce from the garden, a can of black beans, a bit of leftover grain… and limes that my hubby received for his recent birthday (conveniently packed in a giant new cooler also filled with beer and ice…thanks mom and dad : )
So hit up your own garden or a local farmer’s market and whip up this salad for a nice light lunch or to serve with supper. But make sure you have enough limes not only to make the dressing but also to toast your efforts with a cold Corona afterwards!
Garden Summer Salad
1 head of romaine lettuce, chopped
1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen shelled edamame beans
1 cup cooked and cooled quinoa
1/2 cucumber, chopped
4 medium carrots, chopped or shredded
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1 bunch of fresh basil, chopped
Juice of 2 limes
4 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp sea salt (or more to taste)
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
1/2 cup slivered almonds
Cook quinoa and edamame according to package directions. Set aside to cool.
Place lettuce, beans, edamame, quinoa, cucumber, carrots, tomatoes and basil in a large salad bowl and toss gently to combine.
In a small bowl, whisk together oil, lime juice, salt and red pepper. Drizzle over salad and toss to lightly coat ingredients. Sprinkle almonds over top to garnish. Enjoy!